Short Term 12

SHORT TERM 12 written and directed by.

SHORT TERM 12 written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, with Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever and Keith Stanfield. A filmswelike release. 96 minutes. Opens Friday (November 15). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNNN

Expanded from his 2008 short, Destin Daniel Cretton’s terrific first feature is a powerful, deeply felt character study of a young therapist (Brie Larson) at a California facility for disturbed children whose own issues come rushing to the surface when she meets a particularly troubled new intake (Kaitlyn Dever).

Cretton creates a dramatic environment that’s fraught with emotional tension, but doesn’t milk it the explosions of feeling seem natural rather than calculated, the result of totally believable interactions between the adults and the kids.

And he has an amazing eye for casting: Scott Pilgrim’s Larson and Justified’s Dever are both riveting, but supporting players John Gallagher Jr., Rami Malek, Stephanie Beatriz and Keith Stanfield are all terrific, too.

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